5 reasons why AEC firms need to focus on employer branding

Not to be confused with the branding of your firm overall, your employer brand is defined by your reputation as a workplace.

June 16, 2017 |

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It goes without being said that you want your AEC firm to be a place that your employees enjoy working. In addition to all of the obvious benefits of happier employees, attracting and retaining the right talent gives your firm a competitive and strategic advantage over the competition. That’s why so many top firms are turning to employer branding to differentiate their work environment from other similar firms.

Not to be confused with the branding of your firm overall, your employer brand is defined by your reputation as a workplace. It demonstrates to prospective hires and current employees why your firm is distinctive from other competing firms in your industry, while highlighting the specific attributes that make working for your firm the right choice.

Considering the substantial benefits employer branding can have for professional services firms, the fact that it’s growing in popularity should come as no surprise. And if you aren’t already focused on developing a strong employer brand, you may soon find yourself falling behind the competition.

Here are five reasons why your AEC firm should fully embrace employer branding:


Improved recruiting

With a clearly defined and well-established employer brand, your firm can attract more applicants overall and — most importantly — more high quality applicants. While the availability of more qualified candidates will help ensure you find the best person to fill your open positions, it can also reduce the time frame and cost of the hiring process. And who doesn’t want better, faster, and cheaper recruiting?


Increased talent retention

There are few things more frustrating than losing your best employees to a competitor. By developing a strong employer brand, you can offer your existing employees an incentive to stay that your competition can’t match. Limiting employee turnover helps avoid disruption, offers continuity to your clients, and allows you to keep top talent you can trust. Since employees want to work for reputable firms, a strong employer brand can even be a more appealing quality than an increased salary at a firm with a lesser reputation.


Happier employees

However, the impact of a strong employer brand is about more than simply retaining your top talent — it can also make your employees happier overall. Employees want to feel good about where they work. Formalizing your employer branding strategy demonstrates to your employees that you value the same qualities in a workplace that they do.


Strengthened firm culture

In addition to being an important consideration for potential new hires, the strength of your firm’s culture also has a significant impact on the expectations your firm sets and the values it represents. Your employer brand offers a great opportunity to promote and strengthen your firm’s culture. This not only helps communicate the standards of your firm with current and prospective hires — which, in turn, positively impacts retention and recruiting — but it can also be an asset with your clients.


Improved finances

When done well, a strong employer branding strategy can improve your firm’s finances on two separate fronts: by reducing costs and by increasing revenue. By reducing the costs associated with high employee turnover and lengthy recruiting processes, your employer brand can help increase firm profitability. Further, the ability to hire and retain top talent is beneficial to growth over time, which should lead to improved revenue growth. The combination of these two financial improvements points to a significant financial upside to employer branding.

With the ability to reduce or eliminate some of the biggest challenges AEC firms face — such as hiring and retaining top talent or increasing revenue — the question isn’t if your firm should focus on employer branding…but, rather, why you aren’t already. By failing to formalize your firm’s employer branding strategy, you risk only finding out you haven’t done enough after your top talent has already left. Instead, prioritize your employer branding alongside your firm’s overall branding strategy and start enjoying these benefits sooner rather than later. 

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